The older I get, the more I pare away bits and pieces that used to matter to me, but now feel like extra baggage, weighing me down. Things that would preoccupy me on a daily or seasonal basis. Like sports. I used to watch football every weekend. Then, with the advent of the DVR, I could record a game and watch it later, skipping all of the timeouts, TV ads, and even the huddles. The plays and nothing but the plays. (You can bet that my wife and daughter appreciated that). But now, I don't even watch any football at all. The same goes for college basketball and the NCAA tournament, now in progress. I never followed the sport, but I would at least fill out my bracket, watch and root. No more. And I can't be bothered with my local NBA team either. Tennis? Nope. Do I miss it? Nah.
But even though I'm paring things away, I will be leaving room for the essentials, and when it comes to sports, I have only one essential - the New York Mets. Starting a week from Monday, I will settle into the little rituals that fill my day from April until October (hopefully to the very end of October!). My ridiculously expensive iPhone will serve as an even more ridiculously expensive transistor radio, to which I will be glued each afternoon, following the exploits of the boys in Orange and Blue. From Portland, I will carry on text message, game long conversations with My old friend Brad, in Atlanta, chatting about Wheeler's return to the rotation, Cespedes's homeruns (and his unavoidable slumps), who's hot and who's not. Standing in the shower each morning at 6:00am, I'll be thinking about who is pitching, how many games up (or back) they are. I think you're getting the picture. Obsessed? Well, yeah.
There's a reason this blog is called Mets Diaspora. Far from the homeland of boroughs, bagels, and Long Island beaches, I'm always searching for ways to stay connected to my roots, and nothing represents those roots as much as the team from Flushing. Some things I can't, and won't pare away.
And if you happen to shadow me throughout the day, eventually you're bound to here me singing this little song: https://youtu.be/Jfz7gW2Wf3I